Tonga Food & Drinks
The traditional diet of the Tongan people consisted mostly of taro, yams, bananas, coconuts and of course seafood - the staple of any island nation. As Westerners began to arrive in the 19th and early 20th centuries, so to did new foods. Oranges, limes and lemons were introduced, with watermelon being particularly popular. Tongans also began to adopt onions, cabbage, carrots and tomatoes into their cuisine and even pumpkin has become a relatively recent addition.
Restaurants and resorts feature German, Italian, Japanese and Taiwanese cuisine as well as many traditional Tongan dishes and delicacies. Fresh seafood features in most restaurants as items like octopus, coral trout and lobsters are caught and sold daily.
Some popular dishes include:
Topai: these doughballs are dropped in a kettle of boiling water to cook and are then served with syrup and coconut milk.
Lú: this is a meal prepared for special occasions. Chopped meat is prepared with coconut milk and wrapped in taro leaves which are then wrapped in banana leaves and put in an umu (a traditional underground oven) to cook. There are many varieties of Lú including Lú pulu - made with beef, Lú sipi - made with lamb, Lú moa - made with chicken and Lú ho’osi - made with horse meat.
‘Ota ‘ika: ‘Ota means raw and ‘ika means fish, and that is basically what this meal consists of - raw fish that has been marinated in citrus juice and coconut milk served with mixed vegetables. (For the fish portion, a wide array of seafood can be used such as mussels, prawns, crab, lobster, octopus or squid, sea urchin or eel).
Feke: grilled octopus or squid prepared in coconut sauce.
Kapisi pulu: corned beef and cabbage in coconut cream.
Regarding drinks, there are many local varieties of soda made throughout the islands. There are also traditional drinks like kava, a mixture with sedative and anesthetic properties and hopi, a home brew beer made of water, sugar or mashed fruit and yeast.
Things to know:
Tipping in Tonga is not compulsory or expected, but is appreciated as a reward for good service.
The drinking age:
According to the strict Sabbath, the sale of alcohol is prohibited from midnight on Saturday through to midnight on Sunday.
Tonga Travel Information
At Goway we believe that a well-informed traveller is a safer traveller. With this in mind, we have compiled an easy-to-navigate travel information section dedicated to Tonga.
Learn about the history and culture of Tonga., the must-try food and drink, and what to pack in your suitcase. Read about Tonga's nature and wildlife, weather and geography, and 'Country Quickfacts' compiled by our travel experts. Our globetrotting tips, as well as our visa and health information, will help ensure you're properly prepared for a safe and enjoyable trip. The only way you could possibly learn more is by embarking on your journey and discovering Tonga. for yourself. Start exploring...book one of our Tonga vacations today!
Extend Your Stay
Consider an additional stopover after or before one of your Tonga tours at one of Goway's other South Pacific destinations. You can choose from our selection of Australian vacations, New Zealand vacation packages, Tahiti vacation packages, one of our Fiji resorts or perhaps take a Cook Island vacation.
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Goway’s Downunder wizards can offer you many ways to explore and enjoy Tonga. Choose from a simple island stopover and much more. We want to be your first choice when next you go globetrotting to Tonga.
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